The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a plea by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking to link Aadhaar with social media accounts as a measure to curb fake accounts.
A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bhat, taking up the matter through video conferencing, declined to interfere with the Delhi High Court passed in 2019, which also refused to entertain the plea. “We see no reason to interfere with the impugned order of the High Court. The Special Leave Petition is, accordingly, dismissed. However, liberty is granted to the petitioner to file impleadment application in Transfer Case (Civil) No.5/2020,” said the top court.
While disposing of the plea, the top court, however, granted Upadhyay liberty to file an impleadment application in another matter concerning the linkage of Aadhaar with social media platforms, which is pending before the court.
In this matter, the apex court had ordered the transfer of all pending cases from various high courts to itself. In the last hearing in this matter, on January 30, the apex court had directed the Madras High Court to send all records related to the matter to it at the earliest.
The petitioner argued that the Delhi High Court did not consider that there existed a total of around 35 million Twitter handles in India and approximately 350 million Facebook accounts, and experts reckon that around 10 per cent Twitter handles (3.5 million) and 10 per cent Facebook accounts (35 million) are fake. Upadhyay said that it is extremely difficult for a common man to distinguish between fake and real accounts.
He argued that bogus accounts are also used for the proliferation of fake news which is the root cause of many riots, including the recent riots in Delhi. He contended before the top court that fake news is propagated through ghost accounts, shapes opinion and even plays a vitiating role in the context of free and fair elections.